OAKLAND, Calif. - On Monday, House Democrats formally introduced an article of impeachment against the president for inciting last week’s violent insurrection at the Capitol. Many Bay Area representatives want to vote on impeaching the president as soon as possible.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is giving Vice President Pence one more day to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would strip the president of his powers. If Pence doesn’t, the House is expected to vote Wednesday at the earliest to impeach President Trump a second time.
House Democrats laid the groundwork Monday to remove President Trump from office before his term expires on January 20.
Democrats drew up an article of impeachment charging the president for willfully inciting violence against the government. The attack at the Capitol linked to five deaths including two Capitol police officers. One of those officers died by suicide.
"Donald Trump is not only a danger to our democracy but to life," said Rep. Eric Swalwell. "We just cannot go another second with Donald Trump as President."
East Bay representative Eric Swalwell is among the 210 congressional leaders in support of impeachment.
On Monday, House Republicans blocked a resolution calling on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would strip the president of his powers.
"The best thing is if he stepped aside," said Rep. Swalwell. "He’s not going to do that. The next best thing would be if Michael Pence invoked the 25th Amendment as vice president. He’s not going to do that so we know in the House, we can initiate impeachment proceedings. We are going to do that."
A simple majority is needed to advance the impeachment to the Senate. Swalwell said unlike the first time the president was impeached at least some Republicans appear to be on board.
"We believe the vote will be bipartisan," said Swalwell. "We’ve seen in the Senate already that Senator Ben Sass said he’s open to convicting the president so I think in both chambers you will see a bipartisan intent to remove this president."
If the president is impeached this week, a Senate trial may not happen until after President Trump leaves office. If convicted, the Senate could prevent the president from holding public office again.
Some Republicans said a trial may further divide the country and derail President-elect Biden’s agenda.
"Joe Biden’s not going to get anything done if he continues down this path and neither will the Democrats," said Senator Rick Scott.
President-elect Biden has proposed splitting time between approving Cabinet nominations as well as proceeding with a possible impeachment trial.
Meantime, there are several reports President Trump and Vice President Pence met for a first time in the Oval Office since last week's riots. They were said to have had a good conversation. There’s been no mention of talk of Trump’s removal.